Halt




The Shalimar station is hardly a host for mobility. A site of stationary trains. Its well-painted well-being is testimony to its distance from the feverish world of train-citizenship. Trains usually speed by leaving remnant economies of chai, moongphali, urine, family-unions and plastic. Not here, where men put their feet up on the seat, unbutton their shirts. A masculine leisure is mirrored between a stretched-out train and a stretched-out man. This is where the feverish pace comes to a halt. The world is kept at a distance, as one recuperates for the next round. Warehouses and godowns stand guard for cargo and the resting men. Sacks are thrown one on top of the other. Some slipped aside for a quick passage into the grey zone. It’s shining, whitewashed, blue-lined walls are awkward. As if they were all-geared for a green signal, and it never came. Women hunch on the benches of the platform. Without the hint of hurry-anxiety in their eyes. This could be a park. Or their inner courtyard. A whitewashed haven for the halted.

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